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Chicago Bulls trade rumors: Rip Hamilton for Timofey Mozgov a 'popular rumor', despite lack of practicality

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might not actually be a rumor

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Not sure what to make of how this was worded by Mike McGraw:

Another big man would come in handy - but they're not easy to find. The best scenario might be the popular rumor of trading Richard Hamilton to Denver for 7-foot-1 Russian Timofey Movgoz. But it's tough to tell whether this has a chance of actually happening.

(via ESPN, via an IRL friend [swear I started it before Kelly Dwyer mentioned it]. Thanks a lot, the rest of you...)

So it's just a 'popular rumor', but he's not explicitly saying it's his sources (or any) reinforcing that rumor?

I haven't even seen that it's been that 'popular' of a rumor, either. Mozgov (incorrectly named in that whole Daily Herald article) has been reportedly on the trading block for a while, but I haven't seen anything about the Bulls being interested. Though it'd make sense.

But then McGraw goes into why it may not make much sense:

  1. Rip's $1m buyout for next season doesn't have things exactly salary-neutral
  2. Denver doesn't really need another wing. They start Andre Iguodala at the 2, and rotate in Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer, and Andre Miller (with Ty Lawson in two-PG lineups).
  3. The deal can't be made without Denver throwing in someone else.

That last point isn't exactly true. Both Denver and the Bulls have trade exceptions large enough to swap the two players that way. And if not, Denver can get it done with with a minimum salaried player.

McGraw instead speculates that Denver would try to get the Bulls to take Anthony Randolph, as he doesn't play and has 2 years remaining on his contract. It's a relatively low number, under $2m for each of the next two seasons, but the Bulls are up against the luxury tax and taking Randolph wouldn't help in that department this year nor next. Plus it technically cuts into the 2014 plan, if that's a thing.

A Rip trade for nothing is a bad idea, but getting a competent backup center like Mozgov would work for me. Randolph may be worth the flier (as many teams have tried before) but it makes for a tougher choice considering what acquiring him could mean for moves down the line in the quest for flexibility.

[UPDATE by your friendly BullsBlogger, 02/04/13 2:27 PM CST:
Mike McGraw let me know that 'popular trade rumor' is more like only speculation.

At least, it doesn't fit my definition of a rumor. I will keep it in this post though for the sweet pageviews.